State Farm, the company known for being a "good neighbor," traces its roots to 1922. That's when retired farmer turned insurance salesman George Jacob, known as "G.J.," Mercherle founded the company in Bloomington, Ill. His goal was to provide auto insurance to drivers in rural areas and small towns in Illinois.
State Farm had its first claim a few days after opening its first office.
In the 1920s, 175 State Farm agents attended their first agency convention. Today, State Farm has more than 18,000 agents serving its customers in communities across the U.S. and Canada.
Because of its success, State Farm outgrew its offices three times in its first seven years in business. Its headquarters are still in Bloomington.
In 1954, Adlai Rust, who began serving as general counsel when the company was founded, took over leadership of State Farm. Ever since, a member of the Rust family has served as its CEO -- including current CEO Ed Rust Jr. who was elected in 1985 and named chairman of the board in 1987.
In 1962, State Farm began offering discounts to students who got good grades in school. A year later, the company instituted monthly premium payments and authorized its agents to make on-the-spot payments of accident claims of up to $250.
Its well-known slogan, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there," was written by singer/songwriter Barry Manilow in 1971.
In addition to auto insurance, State Farm offers commercial auto insurance as well as coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, along with other lines and products.